Coordinator of the National Response to HIV and AIDS, the National AIDS Council has roped in faith based organisations to be part of the key partners working towards the goal of eliminating HIV and AIDS by 2030.

A recent stakeholder workshop held in Kadoma saw representatives of church denominations admitting that there have been some information gaps and perceptions pertaining to HIV and AIDS issues.

The faith based organisations pledged to come up with an action plan on how best to break the barriers that have been hindering discourse on the HIV and AIDS subject within the church.

Reverend Wyson Dutch of the United Evangelical Church said it is time the clergy stop telling congregants that they can be healed of AIDS through miracles, while secretary general of the Federation of Indigenous Churches of Zimbabwe, Reverend Mathias Tsine and a member of Zviratidzo Zvavapostori Clive Chikuku underscored the need to activate their respective structures in order to give correct information to congregants on HIV and AIDS management practices.

UNAIDS country director and representative, Mr Girmay Haile and National AIDS director of communications, Ms Medellin Dube hailed the positive manner in which the faith based organisations embraced the national vision and goals with regards to strategies of eliminating HIV and AIDS by 2030.

“Faith based organisations are a key group if the country is to achieve elimination of AIDS by 2030,” said Mr Haile.

The two said elimination of the pandemic in 12 years time will not be possible without the involvement of religious leaders who command immense influence on their followers.

It is hoped the initiative to engage faith based organisations will significantly result in reduced mother to child transmission of HIV as some of the church organisations that took part in the workshop used to discourage pregnant members from seeking ante and post natal care.